Georgen Thye runs to keep fit.
FOR change to happen, there must be will power. And who would know this better than 25-year-old Georgen Thye, who decided to completely change his habits to lose the excess weight that had been with him ever since childhood.
“In Asian countries, families see overweight children as a sign of prosperity. But obese children usually grow into obese adults. That’s what happened to me. I was already overweight during my kindergarten years. Being the youngest in the family, I was rather spoiled. I never went hungry and would have two portions of everything. To my relatives, being chubby was cute. They would even compliment my parents for doing such a good job in keeping me well-fed.
“Throughout my schooling years, I was known as Fei (fat) Thye. That nickname never bothered me as I was a positive person,” recalls Thye, who pursued a career in dietetics because of his passion for food.
It was not until his university days that Thye realised his weight was a problem.
“I had moved from Seremban to Kuala Lumpur to further my studies and food was suddenly available everywhere. I took to food whenever I was stressed with exams. In a semester, I had gone from 90kg to 110kg. I remember this training session at the hospital where I had to counsel an obese patient. There I was telling him how to lose weight and on his face was this look of total disbelief that someone my size was actually giving him that advice. That was my wake-up call.”
Thye immediately started to seriously control his food intake.
“I started preparing my own meals as much as possible. During my class breaks, I’d walk home to cook lunch. I ate a lot of vegetables and cut out fatty food. I also started jogging 30 minutes every day. Seeing my weight go down was great motivation, plus people started telling me I looked better.”
Within two years, Thye lost over 30kg and has kept to his healthier lifestyle.
“I used to feel sleepy all the time when I was overweight. I also had these rashes on my thighs because they would rub together when I walked. I could not run for 10 minutes without gasping for air in the past. Now I can run for 30 minutes and still feel fine.
“It’s not easy coming home after a hard day’s work and still have the determination or the strength to exercise. For me, it was knowing there was something that I needed to achieve; that’s what pushed me out of my comfort zone,” he adds.
Thye’s big turnaround has been an inspiration to his family.
“They are now more conscious about their weight and diet. My mum has since changed her cooking style; using less oil and salt. While I do partly blame my parents for the years I grew up overweight, I think being able to make that change as an adult is what counts,” he shares.